Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Unimaginable

"I can't leave work to come get him. His father is all the way across town and it will take a while," the mother said when the school called her. She sounded defeated and at her wit's end. Her son had walked down the hall toward his classroom, came up to another boy and punched him. Her son's behavior in school had already earned him expulsion the previous spring and now, with school only in session four weeks, he was looking at expulsion again. And possibly assault charges.

The boy will be 16 soon and when he turns 16 he may be eligible for some other programs that are geared more for children with these kinds of issues. A regular, public high school simply does not have the resources to deal with children who are violent, unmotivated, possibly gang-affiliated or otherwise too far outside the mainstream with their behavior.  At some point the school and district have to make a decision that they can no longer serve this student. The safety of the other students has to take precedence over graduation rate.

My heart breaks for this parent. And for other parents that feel like they are at the end of their rope. When you bring home that brand new, 6 lb, 13 oz little boy, you never in a million years imagine that some day you may have to give him to someone else to get him to adulthood. You never in a million years think that you may be dealing with drug issues, violence, and abuse. You never think that your child might have severe learning issues on top of that. That you may get to the point where you no longer feel safe in your own home because you are worried this child may harm you or your other children.

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